National Plant Board

Plant Quarantine, Nursery Inspection, and Certification Guidelines

Appendix I

Guidelines for Initiating and Discontinuing State-Federal Plant Protection Programs


The Principles of Plant Quarantines, developed and adopted by the National Plant Board, 1931, with slight revision in 1936, have provided a sound basis for the initiation of quarantine action. It is generally agreed that if quarantine action is desirable to protect a substantial portion of the United States, joint Federal-State quarantines are preferable to individual State(s) action. Definitions and guidelines supplemental to the Principles of Plant Quarantine adopted by the Plant Boards in 1969 have been helpful in providing for uniform quarantine action.

State and Federal officials have agreed that specific guidelines are needed to enter into new essential programs and discontinue those programs no longer deemed necessary. It is necessary to develop step-by-step procedures to meet these objectives.

The National Plant Board has formed an Advisory Council (NPBAC) to periodically review plant pest problems, programs, and contemplated actions. The Council is advisory to Plant Protection and Quarantine Programs (PPQ), as well as to the regional and National Plant Boards. A consensus by NPBAC and/or States will be the basis for an appropriate course of action.

The Council is assisted in these reviews by knowledgeable individuals representing Federal and State research, extension, and regulatory, and the industries affected by these plant activities. The individuals selected are experts in the particular problem area classified according to crops (e.g., forests, fruits and vegetables, cereal and forage, etc.). They are asked to participate only in those NPBAC meetings when a review is scheduled for the particular crop.

Categories of Plant Pests

To facilitate planning, three categories of plant pests have been established by PPQ. Pests in these categories will be subject to continuing review and adjustment in cooperation with State officials.

CATEGORY A: PLANT PESTS OF KNOWN ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE NOT PRESENT IN or NOT WIDELY DISTRIBUTED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. A list of such pests and a recommended course of action to be followed against each pest in this category will be prepared by PPQ and reviewed with State officials. Because of their known importance, these pests would be subject to some form of immediate cooperative State/Federal action.

CATEGORY B: PLANT PESTS OF UNKNOWN OR QUESTIONABLE ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE NOT PRESENT IN or NOT WIDELY DISTRIBUTED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES WHICH MAY BE AMENABLE TO COOPERATIVE STATE/FEDERAL ACTION. Pests not known to occur in the United States would be evaluated when initially recorded as established in the United States. Pests presently within the United States but of limited distribution would be evaluated or reevaluated as the need arises. Pests lists would not be compiled in Category B.

CATEGORY C: PLANT PESTS OF ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE WIDELY DISTRIBUTED WITHIN THEIR ECOLOGICAL RANGE IN THE UNITED STATES. Pests of a type that cooperative Federal/State action may be desirable if efforts by individual growers will not provide adequate control. Also included are those pests where cooperative State/Federal efforts may be desirable to provide effective pest management because of the type of control techniques to be applied, e.g., mass rearing and release of parasites and predators; use of pheromones; and use of sterile male principle. A list of pests in this category will not be developed.

Steps for Initiating Federal-State Pest Programs

1. Federal and/or State personnel should immediately report plant pest outbreaks or new discoveries to PPQ headquarters. The report should include tentative identification, identifier, location, and other pertinent information.

2. PPQ will arrange for identification confirmation.

3. PPQ in cooperation with affected State(s), will evaluate new pest discoveries and make a determination whether the findings represent an established infestation.

4. The pests will be categorized.

a. Category A Pests:

1) PPQ, in cooperation with the State(s), will initiate the previously agreed upon course of action.

2) If a course of action has not been developed, immediate steps will be taken to prepare one with advice from the NPBAC.

b. Category B Pests:

1) PPQ, in consultation with the New Pest Work Group and the NPBAC, will initiate a pest potential evaluation to determine the appropriate course of action.

2) All States will be informed of the recommended course of action and, as appropriate, action will be initiated with the affected State(s).

c. Category C Pests:

1) If the pest outbreak is one for which previous action programs have been developed, e.g., grasshoppers, PPQ and the State(s) will determine the action to be initiated for the particular outbreak.

2) If previous programs have not been conducted, PPQ, in consultation with the State(s) and/or the NPBAC, will determine whether a cooperative State-Federal program is appropriate and the course of action to be initiated.

5. All State regulatory officials will be informed of Category A and B pest situations. Notification also will be made of Category C pest situations to appropriate State offices.

6. All State regulatory officials, industry representatives, and others who may be concerned with the particular program will be advised by PPQ of recommended action agreed upon by PPQ and NPBAC. Follow-up reviews at regional Plant Board meetings will be accomplished as appropriate.

Steps for Withdrawing from Federal-State Programs

1. Pest Eradicated:

a. Review with NPBAC and determine proposed date for discontinuing cooperative action.

b. All State regulatory officials, industry representatives, and others who may be concerned with the particular program will be advised by PPQ of recommended action agreed upon by PPQ and NPBAC.

2. Pest Believed to be Adequately Managed, or Reached Major Ecological Limits, or Rapid Spread Continues in spite of Regulatory Action, or Cost of Program May Outweigh Benefits, or Due to Some Other Factors, Cannot Attain Program Objective:

a. Scientific study and analysis of a pest program will be made by PPQ independently or in cooperation with Plant Boards and/or NPBAC to develop a factual report (1 year maximum). This must include a scientifically based (not opinions) evaluation of the cost benefits and economics involved.

b. Review technical report with NPBAC. Following agreement, notify all State officials of anticipated action. Indicate in notice that the proposal had been reviewed with NPBAC.

c. Based on State responses, submit summaries of State comments to all State officials.

d. If jointly (Federal-State) determined appropriate, discuss program proposal at regional Plant Board meetings. Among items to be thoroughly considered in such a review are: 1) Economic impact (cost-benefit relationship) of withdrawal from program, 2) likelihood of continuing action on program by certain States and the number considering such action, 3) action contemplated by foreign countries — particularly as it relates to restrictions on product movement, 4) an analysis of adequacy of technical review-opinions, or based on scientific approach, e.g., bioclimatic studies, and 5) ability of any concerned States to continue action.

e. If after following step 2, a through d, the consensus is that the program be discontinued, provision will be made to withdraw within a time frame which will allow orderly adjustment (usually 6 months minimum to 1 year, depending on timing of agreement in relation to fiscal year).

f. Industry and congressional representatives will be informed of agreed upon action by PPQ with indication it was jointly recommended by State, Federal, and industry officials.

g. State regulatory officials would also advise congressional representatives of the agreement reached.

3. Federal Funds Not Appropriated:

If procedures under 2 above are properly followed, and State, Federal, and industry authorities work closely together, it is unlikely that Federal funds will be withdrawn on short notice. Should this occur, however, there is no alternative other than discontinuing Federal participation with appropriate notification to all State officials and affected industries and others concerned.

Cooperation with Canada and Mexico and Notification of Other Countries

1. Our cooperators in Canada and Mexico will be kept adequately informed and their advice and counsel requested regarding:

a. The categorization of pest species.

b. Contemplated actions to initiate or discontinue programs.

2. The requests of cooperators in Canada and Mexico made to protect their interests will be followed to the fullest extent possible in keeping with agreed upon procedures and available funds. Every effort will be made to avoid taking any unilateral action. We would expect the same consideration from our Mexican and Canadian cooperators.

3. Our cooperators in Canada and Mexico and other countries will be informed of final decisions promptly.


March 12, 1973